I was quite sure that on SummitPost a page about Ciciu del Villar already existed. After visiting the place, I was not able to find it. If it still exists, please let me know and I will submit my stuff there. If not, let me describe this natural attraction briefly here.
In the language og Piemontese people the word "ciciu" means a puppet.
The biggest group of rock towers
On the foothills of Monte San Bernardo, near the village of Villar San Constanzo, mother Nature created a very interesting area of earth pyramids, rock towers which have shapes like funghi. These formations are not so uncommon in Alps, but in other similar places you see many needles, covered by "hats" on a steep, hardly accessible terrain, while here you will find "gentle", not very high rock formations in a less inclined forrest or even on the upper part of meadows. They are easily accessible and a promenade path is winding among them.
Rock towers have "hats" made of very solid, erosion resistant rocks (gneiss), while their "legs" are made of much softer sandstones. The "hat" is shielding the whole structure, preventing erosion. If such a tower collapses, losing its hat, the remains of tower will soon get eroded.
The whole area is today protected as a natural parc, on a quarter of square kilometer some 479 rock formations are registered.
How to visit the parc?
To the parc entry you best reach from the Villar San Constanzo village. Starting from the church, you take the western road. We were approaching it from the east and garmin was leading us directly towards the parc - until it said: "leave your car". We parked there and, as in February the whole area had a free access, walked in from there. After entering the parc, you walk up the meadow only some 5 minutes, and you will already reach the most picturesque group of towers. Then you decide if you want to continue. The broader round hike through the woods does some more ascent, and in the woods there are less rock towers.
The winds of unusual area are of course wispering also many legends, explaining how the rock formations were created. One of them has it that the rock towers are Ancient Roman soldiers, who were pursuing San Constanzo. They were already just after him, when he returned, exclaiming: "Your hearts are hard like stone, let my curse make you become all stones!" So it happened, but the man was later martyred anyway.